Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Lemon Meringue Pie Cupcakes!!!!!!!!

I went to bed last night, knowing I wanted to bake cupcakes for Graham's co-workers today.  I love to bake, and experiement with new recipes, but don't like the thought of dozens of cupcakes in the house, so I bake for friends, family and co-workers.  I've been doing this for years...something that my co-workers have always told me that they LOVE.  As I don't have co-workers right now, Graham's get the benefit of my side hobby- baking!  Baking to me is therapeutic.  I'm sure if I actually ATE more of what I bake, I would beg to differ on the side effects, but for me, if I am having a bad day, am stressed or am not feeling well, I bake.

I decided to make/tackle lemon meringue pie cupcakes.  We have unfortunately (or fortunately), been eating some amazing cupcakes lately.  Once last weekend for our photoshoot with Carolyn and once last weekend at Julie, Mat and Jack's party...made by Marietta, the amazing girl who did our wedding cupcakes.  I have limited myself on the amount of baked goods I have eaten, however, Graham seems to be on a "see it, and eat it" craze!  I swear if he was a woman, I would think he's pregnant, as it's so unlike him!  I have seen a lot of cupcakes with fondant decorations, coloured buttercreams and various other toppings, but I have yet to see (in a shop at least) a cupcake with a meringue topping (I have had a meringue buttercream before and it was delicious).  Mom got me this great book a few months back, that she found at Talize, so I decided to break it open and see what I could create!

I sort of follow recipes...I tend to wing it most times when I bake, using the recipe as a base and adding more/less/extras when I like.  Sometimes it's an EPIC fail, but sometimes it works out so well, that I have to struggle to remember what I did so right for the next time I bake!  I have started to write things in the margin of the recipes/cookbooks I use, but sometimes I forget.  This can either lead to a HORRIBLE baking experience next time, or one that is somewhat close to the last.  If I make something that I REALLY like though, I always write it down or make notes.

I wish that I had taken photos along the way, but I was too busy...umm...sticky to remember to do it.  You know when you cook/make something and every step of the way, it works, or tastes delicious and you just get distracted?  That's what today felt like!  YAY!  What's even funnier, is that if you were a fly on the wall this morning, you would have seen me using my apple corer to dig out the centre of the cupcakes...eating each centre so FURIOUSLY, so that Graham couldn't come in and get any.  What you would have laughed at, is when I looked over my shoulder and around the kitchen, I remembered that GRAHAM WAS AT WORK!

So, I started off by making homemade lemon curd!  It was hard work, whisking away for 30 mins to get it thick over the double boiler, but it turned out so much more tart than store bought stuff!  I could have just sat there on the counter eating the whole bowl!  NOTE TO SELF: ALWAYS eat breakfast before baking.  ALWAYS.

After the lemon curd was right arm was about to explode (why can't we all be ambidextrous?)...I set off to making the batter.  It seemed like a pretty simple batter to me, but after mixing all of the dry and wet ingredients, it seemed a bit too thick.  Almost like a sponge base.  I tasted the batter and decided to add even more fresh squeezed lemon juice, and it loosened up a bit more.  Little did I know, it was supposed to be a bit thicker, as it's more of an English sponge base.  Thanks GOOGLE.  It baked half way and was taken out to cool for 10 mins.  I then used an apple corer to remove the centre (and had to try them to make sure it tasted good, and as the frantic eating of the centres happened, it was delicious!) and then filled that with the homemade curd.  I then set on to make the meringue and decided it would look nicer if I piped it on the top.  It was then baked a further 6 mins for the meringue to slightly brown and as I didn't want the cake to get dry, I took them out and blow torched them to finish them off.

They looked REALLY good and I was super happy.  I impatiently waited for them to cool off, so that I could box them in these super cute boxes I bought, and get to Graham's work so that I could eat one!

They turned out really well, and the verdict around the office is that I should bake some more, they were super yummy and one lady kindly said I should take my lack of not having a job, to start a business.  Interesting.

Come on over!  I'd love to have some friends and family to try this recipe on again!


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